Hello dear readers, today Austenesque Reviews is paid a visit from a lovely new author, Ann Mychal, who just published a novel based on Jane Austen’s unfinished fragment, The Watsons, titled Emma and Elizabeth. Ann has been kind enough to answer some questions of mine. I hope you enjoy learning more about Ann, her writing, and her new novel, Emma and Elizabeth!
Hello Meredith. Thank you for posing such thought provoking questions. I can’t tell you how I have struggled to answer them, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge immensely.
Glad to hear you enjoyed them, hopefully they weren’t too arduous! Since you may be a relatively new author to some of my readers, how about we start with you telling us a bit about yourself, Ann.
I’m English. I live by the sea in the beautiful county of North Yorkshire. (Fans of Downton Abbey may recall references made to North Yorkshire towns such as Thirsk, Ripon, Malton and Whitby in some of the episodes.) I have loved Jane Austen’s novels ever since I first came across them in my teens, and I have taken them with me everywhere I’ve lived and worked. It would be hard to choose a favorite, but if pressed I’d have to go with Persuasion. I’ve worked in the education and charity sectors most of my life, both in the UK and overseas. I originally trained as a school teacher but have ended up in higher education. Emma and Elizabeth is my first published novel.Continue reading »
A Compelling and Captivating Rendition of The Watsons
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Upon seeing the title of this book you might first assume that it is a fascinating and brilliant mash-up of Emma and Pride and Prejudice, and while you are correct about the story being both fascinating and brilliant, the heroines of this tale are not Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet; they are the youngest and eldest Watson sisters, Emma and Elizabeth – characters from Jane Austen’s unfinished and abandoned fragment known as The Watsons. Instead of writing about any Bennets, Elliots, or Austens, author Ann Mychal makes her Austenesque debut with a novel that tells the story of the recently reunited Watson sisters and their lives in Stanton, a quiet village in Surrey.
I applaud and admire Ann Mychal’s approach to The Watsons, I love how she started the story with her own words and perspective rather than utilize Jane Austen’s 17000 word fragment in its entirety. Ms. Mychal does use quotes and bits of dialogue from Jane Austen’s manuscript, and she also begins with the same premise and most of the characters Jane Austen created, but she makes this story her own by not following what, according to Cassandra Austen, was Jane Austen’s intent with these characters. And by doing so, Emma and Elizabeth is different from all the other continuations for The Watsons in outcome – one I found infinitely more satisfying!Continue reading »